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Alex W.

Outer Wilds

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2 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

 

With all that, as much as I might appreciate what the game is doing, it's too tedious to actually go through it. I must have visited some locations 4 or 5 times in the end, and for various reasons still needed to go back again. Just couldn't bring myself to go on.

 

I hear you. I'm supposed to 

Spoiler

get the warp core and install it in the vessel in Dark Bramble. I'm seriously considering quitting at this point. Those fish monsters have been exciting one or two times, but have become one massive hassle ever since. And going back to Ash Twin Project to get the core for the fourth time and waiting for the sand to disappear etc. just isn't satisfying. I don't understand such game design. 

 

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That's not how it's designed though. By that point in the game you've learned all you need to do what you need to do, so all you need to do is carry it all out. You're either being incredibly unlucky, or you're not going about it in the right way.

 

I have to commend you for struggling on with the game when you're clearly not having a good time, but you keep talking as though the game is designed to be some kind of punishing experience that constantly beats you down, forcing players to fight their way through in order to succeed. That's simply not the case.

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I think I've given up now though. That part of the game I wrote about above (spoiler tags) is just too much. As to "forcing players to fight...": yes, well, I have been hoping for around 12 hours that at some point it will just click but it hasn't. And reading Reddit does suggest many others struggle too, so this whole game is an enigma. I even resorted to the Polygon and USgamer walkthroughs and they tell you to "Be extremely careful here" and "have to move extremely slowly", so maybe it is meant to be that difficult? Last time I tried I did it VERY slowly... only to see the 22 minutes running out before I got there. Imagine my frustration. According to the walkthroughs I have all the tools, e.g.

Spoiler

distress frequency.

 

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You do need to be extremely careful, but it sounds like you're taking things a bit too slow.

 

This may or may not be helpful, but it isn't speed exactly that attracts the anglerfish. ;)

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11 hours ago, alex3d said:

 

That's an entirely different discussion then. Is it okay for a game to stop being frustrating after the first play through, i.e. after 15 hours (as opposed to 15 minutes as in Dead Cells). I get what you are saying, but you are somewhat  contradicting yourself because it's not the individual player who's shit but the experience is part of the game according to your theory. The fact you found frustrations even in your second play through appears to validate my points further above. I do agree there are brilliant and fun elements in the game, see above. 

 

Sorry I've explained it poorly again, my first playthrough was a 2 hour jobby before getting frustrated and giving up. I actually picked things up pretty quickly upon starting again but that's neither here nor there. What I'm saying isn't "being frustrated is all part of it" it's that the things that are causing you frustration (having to wait, losing progress if you screw up meaning that you have to repeat sections of the game) are tied in with what makes the game so special. The fact that you're dealing with a consistent set of rules that react the same way every time you play. If you lose the time loop, you lose that, if you give people quicksaves and quickloads they may not notice certain things through repetition which may actually make a lot of the puzzles even more obtuse. 

 

I found the section you're talking about pretty frustrating, on first attempt, but soon worked out there was a rule to how the fish work and adapted. The same as how there's a rule as to how the ash twins work, and how Brittle Hollow works, and how the Quantum moon works etc. It's not a perfect shiny Uncharted that is amazingly polished and guides you through and checkpoints every five minutes. But for me it's a lot more special than that kind of thing because of the systems at play and the freedom to tackle things in any order, and I was more than happy to find a few things a bit irritating if it lead to such a unique and new gameplay experience. 

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I finished this today and it was just mindblowing. So many great moments in the final third:

 
  • Brute-forcing my way to the Sun Station (unbeknownst to me, too late in the loop) by skillfully jet-packing around the cacti and liberal use of gaffer tape on my spacesuit, then being so awestruck by the Sunshine-style visuals that I roasted to death way before I'd discovered its secrets
  • Pumping Solanum for information using every possible combination of stones then feeling a bit deflated that I couldn't reach the Eye after all that quantum puzzling
  • Finally understanding why the whole game seemed to be about a long-dead civilisation, yet I could see their probe cannon firing each time I woke up
  • The facepalm moment when I realised that the quantum rock I had - for some stupid reason - not ticked off on Giant's Deep contained a massive quantum imaging tutorial, which would've made landing on the quantum moon a doddle and I wouldn't have had to ask here in frustration
  • Triumphantly removing the warp core from the Ash Twin Project, with the consequences dawning on me just as the supernova started. With the gravity switched back on I couldn't re-insert it in time and for a moment I thought I was going to have to start over from the beginning! Now that would've been harsh.
  • The final important place I explored before going on the victory run: figuring out, after lots of head-scratching, how to get into the middle of the Interloper (was really straightforward in the end) and confirming what I knew to be true about how the Nomai met their fate. That ground zero, zero-g chamber with the plaintive music and the ripped-open core is one of the most evocative areas in the game. So pleased I found it.
  • Embarking on my final mission with my son watching, knowing what I had to do. Photo of co-ordinates diagram on phone screen, stopwatch started so I could jump in the Ash Twin warp ASAP, I approached the Ash Twin at a leisurely pace, then suddenly got blindsided by the Interloper, which ripped my ship in half and left me spinning through space.
  • Trying again and everything going so smoothly that I engaged the Vessel's warp drive with a clear 5 minutes to spare. Judging by the comments in this thread I was expecting some Groundhog Day-style mad dash to get a whole bunch of time-sensitive things done and having to control my shaking hands to input the co-ordinates with like 30 seconds to spare. But actually it was mercifully easy.
  • The denouement avoiding all cliches about the overreach of science and whatnot, instead being much less prosaic. 

 

Straight into my Top 10 of this generation. A perfect gem of a game.

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Does anyone know if [ending spoiler]

Spoiler

Solanum is there at the end with all your astronaut buddies if you don't do any of the Quantum Moon stuff? Maybe you have to talk to each of those NPCs to get them to appear? I was wondering how essential the QM is to the game because it doesn't actually contain anything that helps you get to the end. I was thinking that maybe the QM is there to distract players from the really important end-game locations i.e the Vessel and the Ash Twin Project. After all, once you notice it, it's hard not to focus on getting to it.

 

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I posted my spoiler-free concluding thoughts in the completed games thread:

 

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Something else I was wondering while playing this - would it be possible to do this kind of detective/archeology narrative in something expansive like No Man's Sky? That game had the potential to grab me with its lore and story, but never really did. It was all about the atmosphere and tech-tree upgrades.

 

Outer Wilds relies somewhat on the player's eye being drawn to visually-interesting locations. In the documentary, they say that unimportant areas are visually featureless so as not to distract or confuse.

 

I've often thought that vast open worlds have the potential to host an amazing treasure hunt game. Finding a hand-crafted needle in the haystack of an otherwise procedurally-generated world by following clues and deciphering puzzles. Finding something unique hidden within a vast, barren landscape would be a great feeling.

 

It'll probably end up nothing like this, but I'm really hoping Halo Infinite has some of these ideas, because the original Halo hinted at it: a fully-modelled Halo ring, presumably only possible using procedural generation, with the player then tasked with uncovering the its secrets (underground Forerunner installations and the like) under their own steam without simply being told exactly where to go.

 

I think there's the possibility for marrying up the ideas of No Man's Sky and Outer Wilds - maybe the next generation will bring it.

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4 hours ago, Pob said:

Does anyone know if [ending spoiler]

  Hide contents

Solanum is there at the end with all your astronaut buddies if you don't do any of the Quantum Moon stuff? Maybe you have to talk to each of those NPCs to get them to appear? I was wondering how essential the QM is to the game because it doesn't actually contain anything that helps you get to the end. I was thinking that maybe the QM is there to distract players from the really important end-game locations i.e the Vessel and the Ash Twin Project. After all, once you notice it, it's hard not to focus on getting to it.

 

 

So i did a one loop run last night.

 

Spoiler

Everyone still appeared that i never met, except the nomai. Doesnt the QM stuff fill in a couple of knowledge gaps, especially about the teleport location for the ash twins?

 

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Just now, Ketchup said:

 

So i did a one loop run last night.

 

  Hide contents

Everyone still appeared that i never met, except the nomai. Doesnt the QM stuff fill in a couple of knowledge gaps, especially about the teleport location for the ash twins?

 

 

Spoiler

Hmm, I'm not sure. There's a slightly out-of-place entry in the ship's log about "for some reason the Nomai built only one tower despite there being two planets hint hint!" that I think might've been added in a patch, as the creator says in the doc that initially a lot of people found the route to the Ash Twin Project obscure. I guess I might've given up on that route were it not for that log entry. I don't think I got it from the Quantum Moon though - nothing in that place is about the ATP is it? It's just about the Eye and the quantum principles. The QM is basically a dead-end as far as I can tell.

 

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3 hours ago, Pob said:

It’ll probably end up nothing like this, but I'm really hoping Halo Infinite has some of these ideas, because the original Halo hinted at it: a fully-modelled Halo ring, presumably only possible using procedural generation, with the player then tasked with uncovering the its secrets (underground Forerunner installations and the like) under their own steam without simply being told exactly where to go.

Oh, I’d love for Halo Infinite to have some treasure hunt style elements. Getting to an isolated outpost and having Cortana hack the systems to find distress beacons off across the world, or having to go deep underground to find a map room, which could give you more clues and exploration to what the Forerunners were up to, or even finding downed Covenant cruisers that you can explore and pick up clues to their battle plans.

 

I doubt we’ll get anything anywhere near as deep as Outer Wilds, as Halo’s primarily about the shooting, but it’d be great to get some secondary objectives to fill in the lore/make your journey easier. Plus, if they’re creating such a rich open world, they really need to give you some way of interacting with it, or else it’ll end up like RDR2. Super pretty, but ultimately pointless it being so open. That’s where that game really fell down for me. Outside of the linear story, there wasn’t really anything to uncover. I hope Halo Infinite uses its open world for a purpose, or like you say, if you’re being told where to go, it may as well just be another linear shooter.

 

Anyway, this is really the wrong thread for me to be putting down my Halo wish list!

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1 hour ago, JPL said:

Oh, I’d love for Halo Infinite to have some treasure hunt style elements. Getting to an isolated outpost and having Cortana hack the systems to find distress beacons off across the world, or having to go deep underground to find a map room, which could give you more clues and exploration to what the Forerunners were up to, or even finding downed Covenant cruisers that you can explore and pick up clues to their battle plans.

 

I doubt we’ll get anything anywhere near as deep as Outer Wilds, as Halo’s primarily about the shooting, but it’d be great to get some secondary objectives to fill in the lore/make your journey easier. Plus, if they’re creating such a rich open world, they really need to give you some way of interacting with it, or else it’ll end up like RDR2. Super pretty, but ultimately pointless it being so open. That’s where that game really fell down for me. Outside of the linear story, there wasn’t really anything to uncover. I hope Halo Infinite uses its open world for a purpose, or like you say, if you’re being told where to go, it may as well just be another linear shooter.

 

Anyway, this is really the wrong thread for me to be putting down my Halo wish list!

 

Ah good. The JPL doesn't like Red Dead thing again. I've missed it so. 

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20 minutes ago, Mugman said:

 

Ah good. The JPL doesn't like Red Dead thing again. I've missed it so. 

It’s a fair comparison, if Halo is going to be the open world game we think. They really do need to give it a purpose for being that way and RDR2 was the first game that came to mind of a failed attempt, to me at least. If there were secrets and plenty of things to do like Outer Wilds, BoTW, etc, that’d be great.

 

Anyway, as I said, wrong thread really. Take your childish digs elsewhere.

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Alex. You're not playing it on a keyboard and mouse are you?

 

15 hours ago, Mugman said:

 

Ah good. The JPL doesn't like Red Dead thing again. I've missed it so. 

 

It is a terrible game though to be fair. A gold-plated diamond-encrusted shopping trolley with a wobbly wheel.

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On 24/01/2020 at 21:03, alex3d said:
  Reveal hidden contents

Never mind, I miss understood your post. In fact I think you got it wrong. There are cacti on the side walls, which won't get covered. Also, the sand will flow OUT of the room (thereby unearthing cacti) so you have to be quick and make it to the beam elevator in time. 

 

 

I just did this part again recently, and the mind absolutely boggles how somebody could have issues with it, you wait then walk to the elevator at the right time. 

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6 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

I just did this part again recently, and the mind absolutely boggles how somebody could have issues with it, you wait then walk to the elevator at the right time. 

I messed it up first time, as the sand had uncovered the cacti by the time I knew what I was doing. I tried to jet pack through, but kept ripping my suit. I just made sure to be there with plenty of time on my next go though and just walked through, as soon as the doorway became unblocked.

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7 minutes ago, JPL said:

I messed it up first time, as the sand had uncovered the cacti by the time I knew what I was doing. I tried to jet pack through, but kept ripping my suit. I just made sure to be there with plenty of time on my next go though and just walked through, as soon as the doorway became unblocked.

 

Yes absolutely, and you've also just highlighted the player-knowledge-gained loop of the game. 

It really is the Dark Souls of Walking Simulators. 

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4 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

I just did this part again recently, and the mind absolutely boggles how somebody could have issues with it, you wait then walk to the elevator at the right time. 

Spoiler

I got there and the sand was already drained so I tried to fly though. As I couldn't I assumed that I couldn't fit through and there would be another way in. It wasnt until later after doing the High Energy lab when I made the connection to the sand. If you dont fit through when it is 'empty' then it wasnt logical to me straight away that you would fit through with extra stuff in the tunnel.

I actually did that part last night along with some other bits I hadn't got to. Determined to see the end now, especially after the exposition I found . Just some fiddly bits left.

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I tried it again.

Spoiler

 

Making the warp core's installation dependent on

a) the waiting time involved in order to get the warp core out of the sand tower and

b) the confusing design of Dark Bramble and

c) the inability to move at even normal speeds at Dark Bramble and

d) consequently the EXTRA limited time available for all of this

is a recipe for massive player frustration. And people are really wondering why this thread is only 10 pages and why the game remains a niche one... *******!!

 

 

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Dark Bramble is pretty easy really. Just get the distress signal up and follow it. You can turn your ship without alerting the fish, so once I was heading in the right direction, I waited until I was past them, then just blasted it towards the next seed.

 

I agree that the initial 7 minute wait for the sand to go down is a bit of a pain in the arse if you mess it up though. I think it only took me 3 attempts though, so not too bad.

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10 minutes ago, alex3d said:

I tried it again.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Making the warp core's installation dependent on

a) the waiting time involved in order to get the warp core out of the sand tower and

b) the confusing design of Dark Bramble and

c) the inability to move at even normal speeds at Dark Bramble and

d) consequently the EXTRA limited time available for all of this

is a recipe for massive player frustration. And people are really wondering why this thread is only 10 pages and why the game remains a niche one... *******!!

 

 


One that is critically acclaimed with almost everyone in this thread gushing about it, yet you’re the one that’s profusely complaining about it because you don’t seem to be able to perform even the most basic actions that the game asks of you? 

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Kevvy, I appreciate your love and accompanying aggressive defending of the game. Putting the blame on players has always been an unconvincing argument though, especially as some people do agree with some of my issues. This thread went from "GOTY without flaws and if you don't like it it's your own fault" to a more nuanced discussion, which represents the purpose of this forum I think.

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11 minutes ago, alex3d said:

And people are really wondering why this thread is only 10 pages and why the game remains a niche one... *******!!

 

I know right? You'd think it would be full of hundreds of pages of frustrated players. :P

 

Nobody's forcing you to play this, and it's fine not to like every great game that comes along. Just go and play something you enjoy!

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I'm sure it's not just you, but what are you hoping to achieve? I had a fantastic experience with the game that doesn't match yours at all, and you keep talking as if the game is designed to frustrate you, which it clearly isn't.

 

The point you're at is the last real challenge of the game, but for the most part all it asks is that you (very very mild spoiler)

 

string together a bunch of stuff you've done before

 

The time limit adds a bit of extra pressure, but that's it. I can totally understand how you could get frustrated if you had to do it too many times, just like horror games lose their power if you keep failing a section, but normally you wouldn't be in that position. My heart was in my mouth when I finished it, but I certainly wasn't frustrated.

 

Incidentally, regarding point B of yours:

 

It's only confusing if you don't know how to navigate it, which is the point. Once you do all you have to do is lock onto the signal and fly towards it.

 

 

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